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SELECT goes live on YouTube to help FICA apprentices – and to benefit existing electricians

Exams can be a stressful time for some young people but, for the electricians of the future, learning their craft and making sure they understand it fully can literally be a matter of life and death.

Now, to help electrical apprentices to safely join the ranks of qualified electricians, SELECT, the campaigning trade body for Scotland's electrical sector, has produced, on behalf of the SJIB, a series of detailed instructional videos which will be vital during, and particularly in the final stages of, apprenticeship training.

The videos, which are already live on YouTube and the SJIB’s website, are primarily aimed at apprentices at the end of their five-year training programme facing the Final Integrated Competence Assessment (FICA), which ensures the apprenticeship has been successfully completed.

However, the production values of the videos are so good and the information contained in them is so up-to-date that they will also be of value to existing electrical professionals and will be used by SECTT, the Trust which manages training on behalf of the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB). What’s more – they can support delivery of the SELECT short training courses.

Fiona Harper, of SELECT, explained that the series of 10 videos concentrate on the test sequence and specific tests required to verify that a new electrical installation complies with BS 7671:2008 (as amended). Testing is one of the most important skills that a qualified electrician should possess.

She said: “Inspection and Testing is vital. It is about verifying that an electrical installation is safe before it goes into use, and the regulations require that the person verifying it is suitably competent.

“However, it can involve live working, so apprentices don’t have much chance of hands on experience. People might be hurt. Until now, they have had to learn by watching a qualified electrician doing the verification work.

“The SJIB has acknowledged that Inspection and Testing is one of the most difficult parts of FICA to learn. One of the assessors said that young people were turning to YouTube for information and that was when we decided to use that medium to provide clear, accurate, accessible and authorised guidance for our candidates.”

The training videos will be the latest additions to the FICA regime, in which candidates face a gruelling two-days of practical simulations of various aspects of electrical installation in a modern and up-to-date environment.

They are also tested on a large catalogue of underpinning knowledge, with a series of multiple choice questions which help to assess their ability to effectively and safely carry out their vocation as electricians.

The Scottish Joint Industry Board has three assessment centres for the FICA - in Aberdeen, Cambuslang and Edinburgh.

SELECT's 1200 member companies account for around 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland. They have a collective turnover of around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 people.

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